As I was scrubbing the liquified cookie crumbs out of Boy #1's lunchbox yesterday afternoon, I had another one of those "I went to college for this?" moments. We have successful lawyers, bankers, doctors, businesspeople. How come nobody says, "She is a successful housewife?" You can come over to my house any time and I will always have a clean towel for you if needed. I will whip you up a snack or a meal that will bring a tear to your eye. I will wrap a present for you, sew a button on, do your laundry while you are enjoying that snack. I will let you sit on my couch and relax while I bring you a selection of magazines. I will even help you with your homework if you want. If that's not successful I don't know what is. Let's not even bring up the fact that in my line of work there are no annual reviews, raises, or expense accounts. I don't even like the term "housewife." It is so 50's, so retro, so June Cleaver. I was talking about this with a friend and she brought up the fact that so many other occupations are genderless, like actor, doctor, banker. But not housewife. So what would a genderless title be, "houser?" "house manager?" Any ideas? On forms that ask for my occupation I usually put "mom," which I guess is more important than "housewife." Jackie Kennedy once said something to the effect of "If you mess up raising your children, whatever else you do in life doesn't matter much." No matter how clean your towels are.
The streets here.....are littered. With celebrities. I'm starting to think they're stalking ME. I can't even do the most mundane task anymore without bumping into one. Today, after a school yearbook meeting and many, many errands....returning library books, picking up dry cleaning, returning the pack of card stock that wasn't used when Boy #1 made campaign buttons for his student council run, making a quick drugstore run, and so much more, I stopped by the grocery store that sells the best grapes. And the best watermelon. And where Sidney Poitier and I like to buy our apples. I was buying a few impulse items when I saw a woman who looked like Reba McEntire. Only smaller. I glanced at her and then away and she disappeared. I finished shopping and got into a checkout line. I couldn't see who was checking out in front of me at first because of the way the checkout station is configured. When I could see the customer ahead of me I saw that it was indeed Reba McEntire. The clerk asked her if she wanted help out to her car and she said "No, that's OK." I saw my opening. "We don't need help there," I said. "We need help at home putting it away. We need help unloading our dishwashers and putting our laundry away." My new friend Reba chuckled, "That's right," she said, "Come and help us at home." We're just two women laughing together about all the stuff we have to do. As if SHE doesn't have people to do that stuff. Maybe she doesn't. After all, she WAS buying her own groceries. And she did return her shopping cart to the cart corral after she loaded the grocery bags into her car. Reba and I have so much in common. We speak the same language. Dishwashers, laundry, groceries. If only my friend Sidney had been there.
I am on such a roll. Saturday night. Dinner at a diner in Brentwood with the kids. Decided to go across the street to the Halloween store on the corner because, of course, Halloween is in 4 days and if we don't, Boys #1 and 2 will be a Cubs fan and a football player. Again. The store was filled with scary masks and overpriced Halloween stuff and desperate adult shoppers. I decided to step outside while the boys decided which scary masks to buy that they will surely end up taking off in order to actually SEE while trick or treating. I sat on a ledge outside the store and looked toward the street and who did I see? Jake and Reese. Gyllenhaal and Witherspoon. Yep, the Brokeback guy and the Legally Blonde girl. Holding hands. And walking toward the Halloween store. Even celebs get into the Halloween spirit, I guess. As Reese walked toward the store, she adjusted her baseball cap, pulling it lower on her head. Jake had no hat, just a beard and a puffy vest. She is verrrry tiny and very pretty. They were holding hands and leaning into each other. There were no paparazzi in sight, so If they're not REALLY a couple they were doing a great impression of one. Of course I walked back into the store after they did. He picked out a very oversized brown cowboy hat and I didn't see what she got. I was too busy trying not to look like I was staring at them. In the checkout line she leaned back into him as his hand caressed her back and even lower!!! (This is a family blog, you know.) I really need to start carrying my camera with me.
Sidney Poitier, Jake and Reese. My sightings are getting better and better. It's mostly all Oscar winners now. Can Brangelina be far behind?
Sometimes I get a little obsessed with the strangest things. For the last few years, it has been the honey crisp apple. I discovered them several years ago at the grocery store and have been spreading the word ever since. Some people preach religion. I preach the honey crisp. They are sweet, tangy, crisp (of course), and delicious. They have become quite popular recently--in fact, a few weeks ago the Chicago Tribune had an article about them entitled "One Sexy Apple." Over the weekend we went out to dinner at one of my new favorite LA restaurants, and I had my new favorite side dish, roasted brussels sprouts with pancetta and fuji apple. I think it also had some fresh thyme gently sprinkled in. It was fabulous. In fact, I have been thinking about it ever since. Perhaps brussels sprouts are the new honey crisp. I went to the grocery store today to buy the ingredients, because with the temperature here in the 90's and the state burning, somehow my thoughts turned to roasting. It IS October, after all. I was in the produce section, looking for the fujis, when I looked across the aisle and saw Sidney Poitier picking out apples. So of course, I walked over to his apple bin and, conveniently, the sign indicating what kind of apples they were was missing. "They're fujis," he said. (If that's not karma, I don't know what is) "Oh, " I said, gazing into his eyes. I'm not your typical fan, you know--anyone can say, "I really love your work, Mr. Poitier." Not me. "Have you tried the honey crisps? They are fabulous. They're life-changing." "Really?" he asked. "Where are they?" I, having been raised right, was very happy to help the man out. So we walked over to the honey crisp section together. The. Very. Elegant. Mr. Poitier. and I. He picked out a few apples. "You're going to love them," I said. "Next time I see you I'll let you know how they were," he said. Simply charming. We encountered each other in the store a few more times before we checked out at different lanes. I walked out a few feet in front of him and watched as he got into his black Mercedes. Then I got into my minivan and went home to real life.